Google Chrome is sprinkled with nifty experimental features dubbed Flags. One such feature is the Reading Mode available in the Chrome browser, which allows you to experience a clean and clutter-free reading experience whenever you are viewing an article. And now, it looks like Google will soon let you use this nifty Chrome feature to “hear” articles instead of reading them. Let’s have a look at the details below.
Chrome Will Soon Let You Listen to Articles!
Google is working on a handy text-to-speech functionality within the Reading Mode in Chrome for desktops. Using this feature, you will be able to let Google recite an article for you. As spotted by browser expert Leopeva64, Google is testing this new Reading mode feature in the Chrome Canary build, and as of now, there is no word as to when it will make its way to the stable build.
The feature dubbed “read aloud” will convert your selected article into an audiobook and will let you listen to it. The play icon will rest at the top of the Reading mode toolbar in the middle and the rest of the functionalities like text formatting, editing, and so on will be housed within a submenu accessible via a gear icon.
Leopeva64 shared a snippet of this feature in action, and based on what we can see, it is still a “work in progress.” For starters, once you click on the tiny play button, there isn’t much that you can do. The Chrome browser will start narrating your selected article using a pretty generic robotic voice. You can pause the narration at any point. However, if you want the browser to narrate a specific segment of your selected article, well, that is not possible yet.
This can only imply that Google is still early in its testing phase, and this feature has yet to evolve a great deal before becoming widely available to regular users. Google Chrome is not the first browser to introduce a feature like this. If you can recall, Safari, Edge, and Mozilla Firefox all offer similar narration capabilities, which are much more refined and feature-rich. For example — you can change the narration voice, speed of narration, skip ahead in narration, and more.
With that being said, you can visit the Chrome flags page to enable this new Reading Mode feature for the Chrome browser. We don’t see it on our Chrome Canary build Version 118.0.5976.0, though. If you get a chance to test out this feature, share your experience with us in the comments below.